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James Tyrrell


James had hardly touched a camera when he came to Londolozi, but his writing skills that complemented his Honours degree in Zoology meant that he was quickly snapped up by the Londolozi blog team. An environment rich in photographers helped him develop the ...

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on Johnny Clegg: 1953 – Forever

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James, so sorry to hear about his passing

We are sorry for the loss of this iconic figure in African culture

A fitting tribute James. We were fortunate to attend a Johnny Clegg comcert a few years ago at the Botanical Garden in Nelspruit. I have got all his albums playing in the car when we go on a road trip. I get goosebumps everytime I watch a video on Youtube about some wildarea in Africa and the soundtrack is a Johnny Clegg song. Spirit of the Great Heart, Impi, Scatterlings of Africa. It will live in our hearts forever. It is Africa. Indeed a sad day for us.

A shining light went out too early here….but he is just beginning his second act eternally.

Wonderfully written JT, echoing what is in my heart and the heart of all South Africa. He was and will always be loved and we are indebted to him.

Such a beautiful tribute James. Very sad heart today. What a legend.

My first tape I ever recorded was Juluka, I went to 11 concerts. I have every album he’s ever recorded. I grew up listening to his music and was totally captivated by his dancing and the way he crossed the cultural divide. My children will grow up listening to his music.

A moving and very lovely tribute James. I have wept most of the day as the tributes pour in and his music washes over me.

Hambe Kahle Johnny Clegg. A shining light and an inspiration to us all.

What a beautiful tribute to a man who truly represented all that is good in Africa. I wasn’t familiar with him so went to You Tube and listened to Great Heart, watching the beautiful video. Now I understand- he will be missed but his legacy will live on in the hearts of those who loved him. ❤️

Beautiful tribute to a remarkable man. Thank you for this.

We mourn a very loving and great man. We defy anyone who has the smallest idea of rhythm not to jig or get up and DANCE to his music! The words of his songs fill our hearts and minds with the love of Africa. This is how Africa should be! Did Johnny C ever visit Londolozi? If he did, we are sure he must have really loved it and would have fitted right in …. What a wonderful and courageous person! Wendy M

Senior Digital Ranger

Beautiful tribute James, to a man who can Rest In Peace with the work he did in spreading the universal messages to change the world and the courage he had to do so. We were blesssed with his presence. Thank you for posting this.

What a lovely tribute to Johnny Clegg James. I know that all of Africa feel the pain or losing such an icon. In his few short years on Earth he has certainly done a lot of good for the people of Africa. Yes, you can liken him to Madiba – these two had the same vision. May he rest in peace and my deepest sympathy to his family and friends. Thanks for sharing with us James.

With my family now scattered across the world, Scatterlings of Africa is our families anthem. So very Sad but also a blessing to have had such an amazing person in this cool crazy beautiful world! 🙂
A beautiful song called ‘I’ve been Looking’. was written by his son for him which they perform together – Simply Magic!!

Huge loss!
I was unfamiliar with his music until my first Londolozi visit in 2013.
Fitting tribute in the New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/16/arts/music/johnny-clegg-dead.html?searchResultPosition=2

Thanks for this wonderful tribute, James. And thanks also for introducing me to Johnny Clegg’s music: it was your rendition of “Great Heart” around the campfire at Londolozi some 7 years ago that led me to add his songs to my collection. And now, as you say, he will never really be gone.

Senior Digital Ranger

Well said, James. Johnny Clegg was an inspiration to those far beyond the shores of your beautiful Africa. He is a symbol for what humans are capable of and should aspire to be. Our hearts are heavy, but we have all been blessed to have had him in our world! Thank You

Beautiful article James. You put this out so quickly after Johnny’s passing, that it got ‘lost in the noise’ of ordinary obits and bio articles. I’m glad my continued searching for ‘Johnny Clegg’ let this gold-nugget you wrote rise to the surface. I shared it over to the Scatterlings facebook page. Very well received! This Londolozi webiste is impressively nice. I look forward to exploring. I’ve been listening to Johnny non-stop since I heard the sad news of his passing. Your headline of “1953-Forever” completely encompasses my feelings. Thank you once again.
Sean, Boiling Springs PA, USA.

Thanks for the kind words Sean!
You can’t walk more than 50 metres through the Londolozi staff village without hearing Johnny playing out of someone’s room!

I’ve been lucky enough to have seen Johnny Clegg live 4 times. His music has had such an incredible impact on me since I was 5, whenever I listen to it I feel like it lights a fire inside me (awakens my African Dream).

Hamba Kahle Johnny, you will forever be my favourite musician

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